Tuesday 27 September 2016

Genealogy Journals and Newsletters

As part of my membership in several genealogical societies I regularly receive copies of their newsletters and journals. I subscribe to a few other newsletters as well that are offered free by some family history groups. Not all of them always contain information that is pertinent to my own research or family but, inevitably, I do find something of value in each of them. So I keep paying my membership dues and I keep my free subscriptions up-to-date

I also subscribe to some genealogy magazines: Family Tree, Family Tree Magazine and, more recently, Going In-Depth.

Family Tree is based in the UK and its content is largely centred on subjects having to do with British family history. That’s great because most of my and my wife’s family lines originate in the British Isles, so it is very useful to keep abreast of data sources and research being done by others in the regions of interest to me.

Family Tree Magazine originates in the US and, again, has lots of interesting reading about research methodology. It is largely oriented to American subject matter, but that’s OK, too, as I have many ancestors who were born in locations across the country, and back to the 18th century.

Going In-Depth is also produced in the US and contains lots of information about American sources and families but is not restricted to that country. It has many articles written by authors from around the world and about subjects that are relevant to basic genealogical research methods. I just discovered this magazine and, so far, it looks very interesting.

What I wonder about is how people can keep track of the hundreds of stories and articles that are published in the dozens of journals and newsletters by the many genealogical societies and other historical groups. Not to mention the myriad books about genealogy! And how can they find articles that might be relevant to their own research when such material is published in obscure, or at least very distant journals or newsletters.

Michael Hait and Harold Henderson published a list of over four dozen journal titles in just the US, in their State & Regional Genealogical Society Journals, in 2013. It was mainly meant for authors to assist them in finding the appropriate venue for articles. It will also be good for people looking for material in specific regions. I do not know of a similar list for Canada or other parts of the world.

Another place to find published material is in the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) compiled by the Allen County Public Library. One can search the PERSI index on FindMyPast, for who, where and what. I am even listed on it as an author.

With all the blogs I read daily, as I wrote about in my blog post The World of Genealogy Blogs, I could spend most of my time reading about what other people are publishing with little left over for my own research or writing. It leads to the question of where I should look at publishing my own thoughts, ideas, stories and experiences. Where and how will people find my contributions when there are so many avenues to keep track of out there?

Wayne Shepheard is a volunteer with the Online Parish Clerk program in England, handling four parishes in Devon, England. He has published a number of articles about various aspects of genealogy in several family history society journals. He has also served as an editor of two such publications. Wayne provides genealogical consulting services through his business, Family History Facilitated.